Glossary: text-world

Explanation

A text-world is a mental image that is triggered by language and fleshed out by a reader's own background knowledge. For example, in the sentence the black dog looked menacingly at the nervous postman, a text-world is constructed out of nouns (dog, postman) and Modifiers in the form of adjectives ( black, nervous and adverbs (menacingly) .

My knowledge of the world (in this instance of dogs and postmen) fleshes out the detail - although there is nothing in the text that states it, I imagine the dog to be big and snarling, and the postman to be wearing a uniform and carrying a large bag.

Thinking about language like this allows us to appreciate that the way we interpret texts is a result of two things: (1) the text itself, and (2) our own, unique personal experiences, memories and background knowledge.

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